US businesses are increasingly prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion, but critical shortcomings remain: Marsh/RIMS report
New York | July 07, 2021
US businesses continue to make significant strides in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) throughout their organizations, but substantial shortcomings remain, according to findings from a new report published today by Marsh, the world’s leading insurance broker and risk advisor, and RIMS, the risk management society™.
This year’s Excellence in Risk Management Report — based on responses to a survey and conversations with risk professionals, C-suite executives, and DE&I experts — examines how organizations are looking at DE&I, undertaking related initiatives, and measuring their impacts. Significantly, the report found that a large majority of organizations — 71% — have increased their focus on DE&I over the past five years. However, only 54% of respondents consider lack of a DE&I strategy a core business risk.
The findings indicate that many companies do not fully understand the potential repercussions of an inadequate DE&I strategy, including failure to attract and retain top talent, losing clients, reputational damage, and potential lawsuits. Areas identified as lagging include training, mentorship, and sponsorship. For example, only 47% of the respondents said their companies offered training to improve DE&I to all employees.
“As society continues to grapple with inequities highlighted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and other recent events, creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive corporate culture is critical,” said Martin South, President, US and Canada Division, Marsh. “Now, more than ever, effective risk management requires organizations to embrace diverse opinions. Advancing DE&I is not just the right thing to do – it’s imperative to businesses’ viability and growth.”
“Risk professionals can be DE&I champions within their organizations, taking leadership roles to demonstrate the value of DE&I and the perils of failing to act,” added Mary Roth, CEO, RIMS. “Diversity of thought is paramount to successful risk management. Empowering a diverse corporate culture opens the door to new ideas, new opportunities and improved strategies that can lead to more informed decision-making and better outcomes for the organization.”
The Excellence report, Diversity, equity, and inclusion: Progress made, challenges remain, is based on 350 responses to an online survey and a series of focus groups with leading risk executives from January through April 2021.
Marsh is the world’s leading insurance broker and risk advisor. With around 40,000 colleagues operating in more than 130 countries, Marsh serves commercial and individual clients with data-driven risk solutions and advisory services. Marsh is a business of Marsh McLennan (NYSE: MMC), the world’s leading professional services firm in the areas of risk, strategy and people. With annual revenue over $17 billion, Marsh McLennan helps clients navigate an increasingly dynamic and complex environment through four market-leading businesses: Marsh, Guy Carpenter, Mercer and Oliver Wyman. Follow Marsh on Twitter @MarshGlobal; LinkedIn; Facebook; and YouTube, or subscribe to BRINK.